Wednesday 30 July 2014


Normally, when I go to the bank it is to get out cash or deposit a cheque. I do this at the ATM machine, and most of our other banking is done online. We have automatic withdrawal, automatic deposit, debit cards, credit cards and God alone knows what else. I hardly ever see a bank employee anymore.

There was a time when we all went to the bank on a weekly or bi-weekly basis when our pay checks were handed out. That’s right, the boss used to walk around and hand you your check. I always felt that made the boss realize that we weren’t doing this for free and in some small way the corporation valued our services. Having the check in my sweaty little hand was kind of nice too. With automatic deposit, you don’t have that tactile affirmation that you did a good job. Times change…

I was at the bank today shortly after it opened, so I would be in and out pretty quickly. There were four people in front of me in the line, with five people being handled by the tellers. I should be out before the door swings shut. I wasn’t, but I should have been. I don’t know what the problem is, in the past you would go to the bank and be in a line forty people deep and still get out and back home not more than a half hour later than normal. Perhaps the only people who use tellers in this day and age are the ones with complicating banking or the very simple minded.

I stood in line looking at the backs or five people I don’t know but that I was fast coming to hate. How can these silly buggers have complicated banking? I stood in line looking at the faces of five tellers I didn’t know that I was fast coming to hate. How can they be so damned slow? I became envious of the four people in the line before me; they will be out of here perhaps hours before I get out.

There is a special teller for business accounts and if things are slow in the business line, they will wave one of us commoners forward. It’s probably like getting bumped up to first class on an airplane. Neither one of those things have ever happened to me. Once, one of the people in line ahead of me at the bank cried “THIS IS BULLSHIT!!!” and stormed out the door. He was right, but for me, that bullshit just bumped me up a position. Whenever I am in a bank, I find myself hoping someone in front of me will lose their mind and leave behind an empty spot and more than a few curse words.

There used to be large clocks in every bank, because as we all know, time is money. There are no clocks on the wall any longer; I judge time by the movement of the sun out the window. Sometimes I like to watch the sweat bead up on the person’s neck in front of me and eventually run down his back. It is his fault really, it is 30° and this bozo is wearing sweat pants and a down filled vest. He did make a concession to the heat, no shirt under the vest.

I looked out the series of windows across from me; just to be sure it hadn’t become night while I stood in line. You could see care free people walking by, enjoying the sun and their freedom. I saw one of my neighbours pass the first and the second windows walking his dog. I should mention that if this guy isn’t mentally challenged, it’s because he has yet to be diagnosed properly. If I had to draw a cartoon of a moronic neighbour, this guy would be the template. I am sure I will talk about him at a later date, but for now I am still in the bank looking at this neighbour pass out of sight from the second window.

The third window is five feet away and he didn’t appear. I’m not talking about seconds, but minutes passed and still no moron. I have heard about abductions, alien or otherwise, but they generally happen at night on some secluded country back road, not beside my bank in Calgary. He did appear eventually, I guess anal probes don’t take as long as they used to. The aliens must be getting pretty efficient; they have done enough of them. If anyone deserves an anal probe, it’s this guy.

I’ll never know why it took this guy five minutes to move five feet, but I know why the tellers are so slow. The banks only want our money; they don’t want to have to deal with us in person. What better way to get rid of pesky customers than to make banking in person so unpleasant and time consuming.

Banks are necessary, but just once I’d like to feel that they appreciate having our money and our business.

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